Youth auditions for Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker,” Sept. 8

Moscow Ballet, costumes by Arthur Oliver

Press release from Moscow Ballet:

Moscow Ballet’s community engagement program “Dance-with-Us ” brings the historic Russian Vaganova ballet pedagogy to American children in each city on the N American Tour.  Moscow Ballet Audition Director Maria Morari arrives in Asheville on Saturday, September 8 at 12:30pm to audition local dance students for roles in the Great Russian Nutcracker! Maria Morari will audition and rehearse children ages 6 to 17 years with at least 1 year of ballet training. Children’s roles are as Party Children, Mice, Snowflakes, Snow Maidens, and more. Auditions are free, there may be a casting fee. Dress rehearsal is on stage with the Russian company and children’s costumes are provided by Moscow Ballet. Rehearsals run through the fall and take place at Moscow Ballet Host Studio Center Stage Dance Studio 38-L Rosscraggon Road Asheville, NC 28803. Sign up to audition today at

The “Dance with Us” program… besides fostering greater cultural exchange between countries, gives American children a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a glimpse behind the Russian ballet curtain,”CNN Dec 25, 2017.

The selected children will perform in the Great Russian Nutcracker Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm, and 7:00pm at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at the U.S. Cellular Center.  Buy Tickets

Maria Morari returns for her 2nd year as Moscow Ballet Audition Director and Soloist. She has toured Europe, North America and China performing the classic Russian ballet repertoire including Swan Lake, Giselle, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Don Quixote, Spartacus, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet and the acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker.

Center Stage Dance Studio has been ‘dancing” since 1979 and offers classes in a variety of styles for children ages 3 to 18. It is Western North Carolina’s top rated dance facility and is unique among dance studios in the area; all faculty hold degrees in dance or early childhood education, have danced with a professional company or maintain membership in Dance Masters of America. Founder Michele Lee remains committed to offering the highest quality dance education to students. The success of Center Stage lies in maintaining positive relationships with students and forming a life-long love of dance.  Many former students now bring their children to Center Stage!

Dance-with-Us places 6000 student ballet dancers on stage to perform in the Great Russian Nutcracker side-by-side with 40 Russian professionals. Audition Director ballerinas travel to tour cities from September through October to audition and rehearse the aspiring young dancers. They audition age appropriate student roles. Dance-with-Us is underwritten by Moscow Ballet as a community engagement program. Producer Mary Giannone Talmi developed the choreography for the Dance-with-Us program.

Moscow Ballet – tours annually North America performing acclaimed ballets the Great Russian Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and more. Known for presenting award-winning Ballerinas and Danseurs, from Lilia Sabitova in 1994 to Honored Artist of Russia Tatiana Predenia in 2002 to Andrey Batalov, former Principal Danseur with the Mariinsky Theatre in 2017, the company performs more than 100 engagements annually across Canada and the United States’ in the finest performing arts venues. In addition to public performances, Moscow Ballet’s North America tours include community engagement programs for all ages and interests. “Dance with Us” shares the Russian Vaganova ballet training with over 6000 American dance students annually bringing them on stage in ancillary roles to perform side-by-side with the professionals. Underwritten by Moscow Ballet, the program was developed by choreographer and co-producer Mary Giannone Talmi. “New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life” is a cultural immersion program benefitting thousands of children across the country annually and Musical Wunderkind has the Russian principal dancer performing with American youth musician accompaniment. Many Moscow Ballet performances have a fund-raising component for organizations such as hospitals, children’s museums and more.

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